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Workers protest over sacked rep

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Workers demanding the return of their representative. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Nearly 1,000 workers at the Cheng Shi Xin Manufacturing company in Takeo province’s Bati district yesterday staged a walkout after their representative, who was organising a union, was fired.

Lor Sopheak, deputy chief of the Cambodia Youth Power Union League, said the workers refused to work after learning that their representative Som Sopheap had been fired.

“The workers did not accept it when their representative was fired because their representative helped them a lot with demanding better working conditions,” Mr Sopheak said.

Mr Sopheak said that Mr Sopheap was helping his colleague organize a union and also demand better working conditions that included a lunch room, infirmary, and monthly bonuses paid on time.

When reached yesterday, Mr Sopheap said he was fired because he was standing up for the workers’ rights.

“I was fired from my job by the company when I prepared to create a union in the factory,” he said. “The company did not want a union organised, but it was my duty to protect the workers’ rights which the company broke.”

A representative from the factory could not be reached for comment yesterday.

However, Mr Sopheak said that the company has agreed to meet with workers to find an agreeable solution.

“So far no solution has been found, but both sides have agreed to meet and negotiate,” he said.

Meanwhile, in a separate garment factory dispute, hundreds of workers from the Dai Young Factory in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district are hopeful that their dispute will come to an end on May 23.

Hundreds of the workers formerly employed at the Dai Young factory, which has declared bankruptcy, havef been protesting over the past week over unpaid March wages and severance.

The unpaid wages were then delivered, but the workers continued protests after claiming the company tried to force them to sign a document acknowledging that it could not afford to pay severance.

Ouk Ry, an administrator at Dai Young, said the company will meet with workers on May 23 to reach a solution.

Yin Chenda, 42, a former worker, said that the solution better include the full severance packages.

“We really need our severance paid on top of our March wages,” she said.

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